A Pew Hispanic Center poll (.pdf) released on Tuesday finds that two thirds of Latino registered voters plan to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district but just a little over one third have given the November elections “quite a lot of thought.”

According to the poll just 22 percent of Latino registered voters would support the Republican candidate. But the poll also finds that over a third of Latino registered voters “who have given the election quite a lot of thought (35%), are English dominant (33%), or have a high school diploma (31%) identify with or lean toward the Republican Party.”

The poll indicates that “two out of every three Latino eligible voters reside in one of four states: California, Texas, Florida and New York.” It also finds that across all demographic groups (gender; age; education; income; whether native or foreign-born; whether they speak Spanish, English or both languages; religious affiliation; and ancestry), the majority of Latino registered voters self-identify as Democrats.

In the 2008 presidential election, Latino eligible voters across the U.S. supported Barack Obama for president over John McCain by 67 percent to 31. In Florida Latino voters also favored Obama over McCain.

According to 2008 Pew Hispanic Center report in Florida, “partisan affiliation of Hispanics has shifted in recent years.” This is part of a statewide trend. By 2008 there were more registered Democrats than Republicans.

And Hispanics of Cuban ancestry in Florida by 2007 represented 34 percent of eligible Hispanic voters down from 46 percent in 1990. In that same period the number of Hispanic eligible voters of Puerto Rican ancestry has risen from 24 percent to 29 percent. By 2007 Hispanics of other ancestries represented 37 percent of Hispanic registered voters, up from 30 percent in 1990.

This week’s Pew Hispanic Center poll indicates that the top issues for Latino voters are education, jobs, health care, the federal budget deficit and, in fifth place, immigration.

But after the September U.S. Senate vote to block the DREAM Act, several immigration leaders with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement announced in a phone conference their intentions to use their economic resources and organizing efforts to get out the vote in November.

Rudy Lopez, national field director and political director of the Campaign for Community Change in Chicago, said, “We delivered 250,000 people to the National Mall, and 140,000 messages to Congress members. We are beating our opponents on the streets and the switchboards. We fully expect surprises this fall that will demonstrate our voting power.”

The poll is based on a nationally representative bilingual telephone survey of 1,375 Latinos ages 18 and older, including 618 registered voters.

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